What To Expect When You Start Physical Therapy

Health & Medical Blog

If you're recovering from surgery, an illness, or an injury, your doctor might send you to physical therapy to help your recovery. If you've never had physical therapy, you may be wondering what you can expect. Here are some things that may happen on your first evaluation visit and the treatment sessions that follow.

Undergo An Evaluation

Your physical therapist needs to know the extent of your condition and how it affects your ability to receive treatment. The therapist takes your history and then does a physical evaluation tailored to your condition.

They might watch you walk, have you do some exercises, or move your body in certain positions to evaluate your balance, endurance, and pain level. This helps the therapist develop a treatment plan that gives you the best results and that's within your pain and fitness level.

Learn Exercises And Stretches

Physical therapy is sometimes taken for pain relief, and in those cases, you might receive different types of medical treatments, such as ultrasound therapy. However, exercise is usually an important part of physical therapy. Your therapist teaches you the right type of exercises for your condition and builds on the intensity with each session. You're also taught how to do exercises at home between your session.

Some of the exercises might be done on machines similar to what you see in a gym. Others might be done in water so they're easy on your joints. In some cases, the therapist may need to do passive exercises which entails the therapist moving your arm or leg through a series of movements.

Physical therapy sessions are casual since you'll be exercising. Wear loose clothing or take suitable clothing or a bathing suit along with you to your sessions. Your therapist can tell you what to expect and what to bring so you're the most comfortable. You might go through your session alone with your therapist, but physical therapy treatments are often given in a gym-like setting with multiple people being treated at once.

Work Toward Goals

When you start physical therapy, your therapist sets goals that you work toward. The number of visits you make could depend on how fast you make progress. Meeting goals could be important for your health and safety. You might even need to meet goals so you can live at home alone or return to your job.

The therapist keeps in contact with your doctor regarding your progress and length of therapy. Your insurance company might have a say in how many sessions they cover, so be prepared to get as much from each session as possible, even on days when you may not feel like working out.

For more information, reach out to a physical therapy center in your area.


21 April 2021

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